GFM Network News


A teaspoon of productive soil generally contains anywhere from 100 million to one billion bacteria, says Dr. Elaine Ingham, microbiologist and founder of Soil Food Web Inc.

Building healthy soil for forages

Research group targets five basic principles to improve soil health

Feed the soil and everything gets better, says Brian Harper, Manitoba beef producer and 2018 Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) winner. Harper’s focus has moved from the livestock, down to the plants and now to the soil and the below-ground activity. “I have realized the cattle are just a tool.” Many ranchers are starting to acknowledge […] Read more

The grazier’s magic bullet

Grazing with Steve Kenyon

We live in a world of band-aid solutions, symptom solvers and we are all looking for that next magic bullet. Agriculture has become dependent on these quick fixes to address symptoms. If there is an issue in agriculture, such as a pest, a weed, or a parasite, then somewhere in agriculture we have developed a band-aid solution to address the […] Read more


Four ways to increase your organic matter

A question that I hear a lot is, “How do cover crops fit into a grain operation?” Lots of grain farmers have no desire to get into the livestock business and no interest in producing hay. But many have some soil issues that need to be addressed. This can be done by buying more iron[...]
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Canada’s soils still degrading, albeit more slowly

The rate of degradation of soils in Canada has slowed, but it still is happening at a significant rate and there is still a lot to learn. There are no soil-perfect systems yet for crop production, attendees at the Summit on Canadian Soil Health held recently in Guelph heard repeatedly. No-till farming has declined in[...]
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OMAFRA seen needing a soil health ‘tuneup’

Ontario’s environmental commissioner is calling on the provincial ag ministry to rebuild its soil health expertise and find ways to encourage farmers to adopt soil-friendly production practices, to deal with what she calls a “catastrophic” loss in soil organic matter levels. The report recommends better soil carbon level monitoring and 10-year programs to financially encourage[...]
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Soil health sensor project largest in North America

A new $2-million soil health research project aims to figure out the impact of different cropping systems on the environment. Research will also be conducted on crop productivity relating to soil health. The result should be new knowledge on productivity of traditional cropping systems versus those with cover crops. The project, at the new Soil[...]
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Six limiting factors in your soil that will make or break your operation

Without these six key ingredients, your soil — and your farm — could be in trouble

Farms and grazing operations — organic or otherwise — are only as good as their worst resource, according to Oregon-based grazier Abe Collins. “Soil is our primary infrastructure on the farm,” said Collins, who spoke at the recent Organic Alberta conference. “Biologically, chemically, and physically, you need to be looking at the limiting factors in[...]
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A major issue with our agricultural soils is that we've been mining them for many years.

Avoid recycled paradigms when it comes to soil

How do plants grow? This might seem like a pretty simple and harmless question, but Jean Baptista Van Helmont was curious about this so he did a pretty basic experiment to find out. The downside to his experiment was that he was arrested for it! Here is what he did in his own words: “I[...]
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